Hi Guys. It’s your favorite harpist Anastasia. I am so excited because I have an amazing concert that I am going to be performing in. A group here in Atlanta is trying to raise money to increase education standards for all students and they asked me to do four songs. I struggled with what songs to do because well it’s going to be for metro youths. I thought about all the classical songs I know and have been taught and well you know those kids are going to be bored. So I decided to start researching some new funky music to try out on my harp. Now I can imagine you are thinking, that won’t work, but I am very hopeful that it will.
I began researching popular songs and musicians and I have to say that when I heard the songs I got very concerned I was going to have to stick with my classical music. However, I figured that I could turn a popular song into a very melodic song on the harp. I remembered my favorite show Reign often turned really popular music into classical pieces so I figured I could do the same. I have worked countless hours perfecting my songs, but in the end I have mastered Chandelier by Sia, Stay by Rihanna, and Firework by Katy Perry. I think these are going to be songs that the kids will know and I think it will hold their attention rather than make them fall asleep.
I decided that I really wanted to amp up my performance for these young people so I collaborated with a local dancer named Orion. He’s danced on a lot of different stages and often competes in the World of Dance competitions. He’s created fantastic dances to accompany each song. We practiced this morning and I could barely play because his dancing was bringing tears to my eyes. When you think about the meaning of Chandelier then you really start to feel how important the song is. If you haven’t heard the song it is about the regrets of drinking. As you know our youth have issues with drinking and drug issues so I feel this song is going to be very important and I am going to put every part of myself into it.
This is the first time that I have tried popular songs on my harp. I’ve never really been into popular music and have always loved the classics. There is a part of me that is very nervous, but when I think about the opportunity I have to raise money for our educational systems and to help our youth, it is definitely worth the risk. I’ve never had a dancer on stage either. I keep worrying that he might stick his leg right through my harp, but so far he has been the most professional dancer that I have ever met. I can’t tell you how excited I am right now.
I suppose one of my biggest fear for this performance is that I am going to get so nervous that I forget how to play these songs or that the kids may not recognize the songs because I have had to manipulate them so much to play them on the harp. I know a lot of people love harp music, but they often have trouble recognizing songs on the harp. I played with the idea of doing rap music on my harp but I just couldn’t get it down. In the end I am really happy with my decision. I think these three songs have a meaning that each young person will be able to relate to. With Rihanna’s Stay I believe they can relate on several levels. Of course they might think of their relationships, but a part of the song also made me think of the depression and oppression our young people face from so many issues that they have to deal with. With Katy Perry’s Firework they will definitely be able to hear the uplifting message of being able to do anything and not giving up on their dreams. I really want to make sure that every kid knows not to give up on their dreams.
I believe this is the concert I am going to be most nervous about. Several times today I have found myself pacing thinking that maybe I’ve made the wrong song choices. I’ve thought that maybe my outfit was too boring, too fancy, too dull. I understand how young people pay attention to every detail. I also don’t’ want to offend the parents by choosing to go the popular route. I want them to understand that I choose to play this music for their children and not because it is something that I am used to playing. However, I think if the young people are listening to this music the parents will definitely understand why I chose the songs that I chose. If they don’t they are probably way out of touch with their children.
I really believe that everything is going to be wonderful. I know that several of more wealthy citizens are coming and I really hope that we can raise enough money to really make a difference in our school systems. I am also hoping that this concert goes so well that we can turn this into an annual event. I would love to have the opportunity to learn new popular songs to play just for these young people every year. However, if this is the only year that we do this benefit I am going to make sure that everything is perfect and I leave having no regrets. So wish me luck, I have to leave in about six hours. I’m going to go get my hair done first of course, then I will practice for an hour or so, get dressed and head over. This is going to be a performance of a lifetime and I am hoping for success. Keep me in your thoughts everybody!